3 Cheers for Cheery Lynn & a Tip to “Die” for!

Happy Friday folks! A couple weeks ago I showed you how to cut an intricate die, a beautiful doily die from Cheery Lynn. I had struggled with that die but finally found a method that worked in my “antique” but hard used machine. Well, the president of Cheery Lynn Designs saw my valiant attempt and sent me a platform for my big shot. Apparently they don’t make the platform I was using anymore (it’s rather vintage you know) but I could not see how a new platform would be better than my old platform shimmed with cereal boxes and roof flashing…OK, maybe I can see how. He also through in 3 die sets and a real steel metal shim to play with. Well, do you want to see how they work? Well, have a gander at today’s video:

I didn’t think having a new platform would make a difference but really it is like having a whole new machine. If you Big shot/Big Kick is newer than mine it probably would have come with the tabbed platform, if not you might want to consider it if you like to use wafer thin dies. If not a cereal box and roof flashing does the trick LOL! The metal shim really helped the die cut, I think since my machine is 8 years old the rollers might have loosened up a bit making the dies not so tight. My aluminum flashing worked well too but if you have a magnetic platform you would want the steel one to keep your dies in place. BTW, now that I have the new tabbed platform and I don’t need the old one I am going to see if I can figure out how to turn it into a magnetic one, my husbands countersink drill bits and rare earth magnets are going to come in really handy this weekend! All of the dies from Cheery Lynn Designs cut like butter and the flourish die got an extra workout as my friend Kathy used it to cut a bunch for birthday invites.  I have some cards in progress with the steampunk high heel die he sent too, I’ll share them later. I am really glad I gave thin dies another chance, you just need the right tool for the job. Thank you Mike for sending me some fun new dies and accessories to play with, you can check out the offerings of Cheery Lynn Designs on their website.

Now for a $$$ saving tip! If you have old, bowed die cut pads I’ll show you how to clean and flatten them, no special tools required!

I hope I inspired you to straiten up those die cutting plates and go make a card! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Forget Me Not Inktense Tutorial

Good evening friends. I am in a much better mood today, I think the fact that it was over 10 degrees this morning and warm enough to walk the dog was a good thing, I got to feel the sun on my face and I have got to say the sunshine is the best mood enhancer there is. No hissy-fit from me tonight! Instead let’s paint some flowers! A reader requested forget-me-nots as they were her favorite flower. You can use any watercolor pencils you have or even watercolor crayons for this project.

I appreciate you stopping by and I hope you give this painting a try. Let me know if you have any questions and til next time happy crafting!

Oh, please tell me how I can do it better…NOT!

***Edit: I wrote this post last night at the end of a very aggravating day, bear that in mind as you get to the end, note to self, don’t publish in irritation LOL!***

Hello friends,  here is the new and… ahem… improved Ask a Crafter.

I got a bit overwhelmed by the comments of last weeks webcam AAC (to be fair I asked people what they thought rather than say “take it or leave it”) so I decided that if everyone wants the “good camera”  then the show would be 20 minutes and I just would not answer all the questions on air, I did respond to everyone though.  As I explained in this video I am not willing to tie up my family’s computer equipment for a day to render and upload one long video.  I was happy to use a webcam and stream it live to Youtube and answer everyone’s questions and let it go as long as it may but most people couldn’t bear the loss of video quality. The third option is that I save myself the hassle and don’t do it at all.  So watch it, don’t watch it but please, don’t tell me how I could do it better. I’m done asking opinions and advice (although it keeps coming), and I am adopting the “take it or leave it” approach, it is the same philosophy I have with cooking in fact and it certainly curbs the whining, well, my whining anyway LOL! I’ll see you next time and as always happy crafting!

A Valentine Carnation Craft (Cheap and Great for Classrooms!)

Hello there! It’s that time of year when we get ready to make valentines with our kids to send into school. Here is a sugar free valentine made quickly and inexpensively with supplies from Papermart:

DCF 1.0

Watch this quick video to see how it’s done, let’s get inky!

If you want to see the tutorial for the DIY spray inks and daubers you can find it here.  I used 6″ paper doilies, twisted paper cord, tags and baker’s twine from Papermart on this project. These are supplies I find myself using over and over for projects. They are great to have around and  so inexpensive you won’t worry about the kids using them for their crafts too! I hope you enjoyed this sugar-free Valentine! Til next time happy crafting!

Flip it, Flip it good!

Howdy friends! Have you ever heard of a flip-flop, swing, flip it or swivel card? The idea has been around in the stamping community for ages and I have examples here (with a tutorial to make it with a paper trimmer) and here (to make it with a plastic template) but I got really excited when I saw dies to make them with fancy shaped windows. When I saw that the dies cost $30 a pop I decided that I would try to do it with the thin dies I already have. It is easy really, all you have to do is make a jig for your die-cutter and I will show you how in today’s video:

Can you imaging paying $30 for 1 die that will cut one shape in one size for a very specific kind of card? No way! I can get a set of nesting dies for less than that and 2-3 sets if they are on sale and they can be used for other things too! Now I can make a swing card in any shape and size I have a thin die for, cool huh? In the defense of the $30 Flip-It dies they are thick Movers & Shapers dies and if you were making a ton of cards the same shape and size (think wedding invites or owning a stationary business) it would be a good buy because you could cut several sheets of cardstock at once. But, for the occasional cardmaker or hobbyist I think making your thin dies work a little overtime is just fine. Oh no, I am drinking the thin die Kool-aid…I’ve crossed over to the darkside…will this insanity ever end? LOL! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Almost Paradise! Playing with Artstix & Tutorial

Hello friends! I have been making it a point to dust off old supplies that have been in my stash for a while. I bought these prismacolor Artstix before my son was born (about 12 years ago!) I think when we have babies we develop a temporary amnesia of our life before kids because I had not touched them since. I honestly think I forgot I had them! Here is a painting of a bird of paradise I made with them:

DCF 1.0

And, I did a video while a painted it, I figured that if I had forgotten how to use them and the picture was horrible I would not have to upload it. 😀 But I DID like it and it reminded me why I also bought a larger set that I also found but have not yet opened! Good grief, can you imagine having these glorious little sticks of color and not using them!?! Don’t worry if you don’t have these ArtStix, which BTW are just Prismacolor Pencils without the wood, because you can follow along with colored pencils, oil pastels, pastels, watercolor crayons or heck, even Crayolas.

I also did some random mark making and doodling, it is a great way to get to know the media without the pressure of making something pretty. Have a look:

DCF 1.0

If you have never tried colored pencils or pastels on colored paper before give it a whirl, it looks great! You can see how the same range of colors looks so different on the green, brown and black papers I used.

DCF 1.0

So, what supplies are YOU dying to dig out and try again? Whatever you pick make sure you have fun, be kind to yourself and your efforts and give the inner judge the day off! You will be glad you did. Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Puttin’ on the Glitz!

Hello friends! Today I am going to share some glitzy techniques for your cards and scrapbook pages. This video will show you how to incorporate a lot of hot trends quickly and easily in your cards, scrapbooks or art journals:

You can find the supplies I used from Papermart. I had a good time using these sparkly products, I have been using their awesome (and cheap, only 99 cents!) glitter for years and found that the Mod Podge held it in place beautifully. I wanted to use small mirrors on my scrapbook page but I was worried that they would cut the page protector, I don’t have that worry now that I made them from candy foil and cardstock! The bokah look stenciling and misting was fun and easy too! If you want to learn how to make the daubers and spray mists I used today you can check out my video here. Doilies, what can I say, I’ve used them a lot lately (and I have another doily project this week!) so if you buy some gold doilies you might want to grab a box of white ones too, they are  a steal of a deal and so fun! The shipping tagsare also a steal if you don’t have them yet and now you know how to print on them! Well, I know you want to rush into your craft space and try out these techniques so I won’t keep you, thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Glimmer Bubble Paper, a Valentine and a Winner!

Well happy Friday friends! I’m just gonna jump right in and announce the winner of the About Art Accents Year of the Horse stamp set winner, it’s:  poetryoflifebyjane! Congrats! 172 people entered and your name was drawn, have fun with your new stamps! 😀  If you didn’t win, no worries, the stamp set is on sale for $12.99 (regularly $19.99) and it is worth every penny:) Today I am using more stamps by About Art Accents, some Valentine stamps to make this card:

DCF 1.0

I am entering in the Oriental Stamp Art challenge to use Mizuhiki cord but I didn’t have any so I used satin Rat-tail cord from Papermart instead. I make do. I also made the background paper using a moldy-oldie stamping technique that would be just right for all of the artsy-fartsy cards, scrapbooks and journals we like to make. Get some white glue, cheap eye-shadow and you heat gun cuz I’m gonna show you how it’s done!

After posting that video I was asked for ideas using it in a card, well, here it is:

I hope you have a crafty weekend! We might eek out of the single digits tomorrow (yeah, heatwave baby, where’s my suntan oil?) so that is quite exciting! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

And now for something completey different…

Howdy friends, just a reminder if you haven’t entered into the Year of the Horse stamp set giveaway yet be sure you do on last Friday’s post because I will draw a winner tomorrow! Now let’s stain some wood! Here is a fun technique I discovered (OK , who knows, someone else might have thought of it already LOL!) that I call resist staining!

The embossing powder method works best on smooth wood, rough wood likes to catch all of the granules making it less defined. If you are using rough wood like a plywood that cannot be sanded smooth you can stipple on wood glue, let it dry and stain/wipe like i did in the video. I hope you try this technique sometime! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!